Saturday, January 13, 2024

Kaatha--The Core

 "Kaatha--The Core" (2023) is one of the more delicate stories I have ever seen.  Lots of films these days cover homosexuality and many convey the agonies of hiding one's true self.  This takes a little different perspective.

It might seem a bit like "Maestro" (2023) which I have not yet seen.  But it is not bombastic and a lot more dignified.  You might think Indians are not as civilized as us, but this film shows otherwise. 

We are introduced to Mathew and Omana, a well respected couple in their community.  They live with his father while their daughter is away at a nearby college. 

Mathew was well regarded and is asked to be a candidate for an upcoming by-election in fact they won't consider anyone else.  Even as his wife is divorcing him and revealing embarrassing information.  She had already set the divorce proceedings into action. It might seem strange, but all through the proceedings they continued to sleep together.  They even went to the court together.  She didn't want him to give up his candidacy.  

An interesting sidelight was with the supposed homosexual partner who was a driving instructor.  He claimed that he had received a lot of calls from fathers who felt he was a safe choice as a driving instructor for their daughters.

The whole community was more accepting of Mathew, but for most it was an adjustment.  They all admired him and his wife.  Some prided themselves as progressive while others admitted they were more traditional.  Silence is strikingly used to demonstrate thought.

The court case was interesting in itself, but I leave that and the followup for you to check out.  

The film was very professionally done as you might better appreciate when you read about some of the contributors.

Mammootty who played Mathew was also one of the producers.  He is one of the most popular and talented of Malayalam film people.  He is actually the only actor who has been the lead in six different languages:  Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu, Hindi, Kannanda and English.  Altogether he has 425 acting credits, 10 as a producer and 8 as a playback singer.   His film credits include "Bhoothakkannadi" (1997), "Karutha Pakshikal" (2006), "Kerala Varma Pazhassiraja" (2009), "Varsham" (2014), "Pathemari" (2015) and my top overall film seen in 2020, "Peranbu" (2018).  See

Jeo George was the director who had earlier been involved with writing tv sitcom scripts.  He has 12 acting credits, 7 directing credits and 7 writing credits.  One credit (in all 3 categories) was "Kilometers and Kilometers" (2020).  He has won awards at international film festivals.

Adarsh Sukumaran was one of the writers. He has 3 writing credits, two as actor and one as playback singer.

Mathews Pulickan composed the music.  He has 8 credits for composing. The music is described as soulful.

Salu K. Thomas the cinematographer has nine film credits.

Francies Louis was the editor.  He learned editing working while working on some shorts he had written.  He also gained experience editing advertisements.  He has 5 editing credits including "Kilometers and Kilometers" (2020).

Jyotika (or Jyothika) played Omana.   She has performed in Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Hindi films.  She has 50 acting credits including "Raatchasi" (2019), "Thambi" (2019) and "Ponmagal Vandhal" (2020).  She has been a producer for 6 films.  For her acting check  For her producing check where she was heavily involved with my top overall film for 2021."Jai Bhim" (2021).  See

Sudhi Kozhikode played Thankan the alleged partner. He has two film credits  including "Virus" (2019).

RS Panickar  plays Mathew's father.  This was the film debut at the age of 72.  His role is critical although he doesn't say much.  He knew his son was gay at an early age and thought a marriage would help smooth over the situation but came to regret that decision.  Omana stated at one point she tolerated her unhappy arrangement because of him.  RS Panickar was a retired University Joint Registrar.

Mathumani played the lawyer for Mathew.  She has 45 credits including "Kilometers and Kilometers" (2020), "Kaaval" (2021) and "Night Drive" (2022).

Chinnu Chandni Nair played the lawyer for Omana.  In her early grades she spent time in Tanzania with her parents and developed an interest in theater while there.  Her parents took her back to India for high school.  She has 7 film credits.

This film may seem boring to some, but it deals subtlety with a situation that societies all over world are adapting to.  Homosexuality has been something that was hidden, often in films a subject for blackmail.  Giving new rights people, both straight and gay are adapting generally in a tolerant direction.  For part of my adjustment see the fourth paragraph.

As usual I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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